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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Wollaber wins Mini Indy 50 at Holland

Dave Wollaber takes the NYPA TQ Midget win at Holland
credit: Holland Speedway
Dave Wollaber continued his winning ways at Holland International Speedway on Saturday evening, winning the Jerry Gradl Sr. Memorial Mini Indy 50 for the NYPA TQ Midgets on VSP Marketing Group presents First Responders Night. In other action from Saturday night, multi-time Getzoni Nationwide Insurance Agency NASCAR Pro Modified champion Neal Dietz Jr. won the Pro Modified feature, while Tim Welshans earned another victory in the Bank of Holland Chargers. Ben Russo won the main event for the Advance Auto Parts Hornets, Anthony Riforgiato won the INEX Legends feature, and Marty Hughes continued his perfect season by winning the M&M U Pull-It Figure 8 feature.

Veteran racer Charlie DiRosa and second-year driver Tony Petrea brought the field of NYPA TQ Midgets to the green flag for the annual running of the Jerry Gradl Sr Memorial Mini Indy 50, with third-place starter Erik Musto taking the early lead. Just three laps into the event, Wollaber drove by Musto to take over the lead. The caution flew on Lap 25 for a mid-race break to fill the fuel tanks and make slight adjustments to the cars, with Wollaber controlling the field over Jonathan Reid, Tommy Catalano, Andy Nye and Mack DeMan. AJ Hessler flipped after making contact with a spinning Petrea, bringing out the red flag on Lap 26. On the restart, Wollaber and Catalano exchanged the lead for several circuits before Wollaber took the lead for good with just three laps remaining and went on to score the win.  

Tim Welshans took the lead from his pole position on the opening circuit of the 25-lap feature for the Chargers division, with Nik Welshans and Josh Hathaway battling for second for most of the distance, just a couple of car lengths back of race leader Tim Welshans, as the trio were the class of the field on this night. Tim scored the win over brother Nik and Hathaway.

Holland’s 58th season continues on Saturday, September 2 with the 18th running of the George Decker Memorial 75, plus a full Holland NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program on Season Championship Night. The Chargers will be running a 50-lap event and the Hornets will be running the inaugural Butch Palmer Memorial 32. Pit gates will open at 2:30 p.m. with grandstands opening at 4:45 p.m. and heat racing at 5 p.m. Find out more at www.hollandspeedway.com

Nye extends points lead with Sportsman win at Lancaster Speedway

Lancaster National Speedway hosted Big Rig Night presented by Mallare Enterprises on Saturday night for the X-Press Signs Stock Car Series. It was also the next-to-last night of the regular season with only one more race before the track champions are crowned for the 2017 season.

Shawn Nye extended his points lead in the Sunoco Sportsman with his second feature win of the season, while Mark Hoch was declared the official winner of the Ken Heckler Tribute 51 for the Advance Auto Parts Street Stocks. Tim Gullo picked up his third Race of Champions Super Stock feature win at Lancaster in 2017, and Dan Dressel grabbed his first win of the year in the Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinders.

Sportsman winner Shawn Nye
The 35-lap Sunoco Sportsman feature got off to rough start as outside pole sitter, Jayme Thompson, spun out while coming to the green flag. Dick Kluth couldn’t avoid her and slammed into Thompson’s stopped car. This moved division points leader Nye to the outside pole alongside Owen Bednasz for the restart.

When the green flag finally waved it was Nye getting the jump on Bednasz to take the lead. Bednasz ran second until Lap 9 when he and Jake Lyon tangled in Turn 3 after a restart. Both cars were able to continue, but they had to go to the rear of the field.

Bednasz’s misfortune moved Kevin Miller to the runner-up position. Nye and Miller were the class of the field for the rest of the race as they held the top two spots. Nye led all 35 laps to capture his second win of the season. The victory extended his points lead in the division as he earned the maximum of 70 points with the feature win plus winning his heat and leading the most laps in the feature.

Teammates Zach Truesdail and Tyler Rypkema battled fiercely for third place for most of the race with Truesdail narrowly taking the final podium position. Bednasz came back to finish fifth.
The Advance Auto Parts Street Stocks ran their longest race of the year as they paid tribute to former racer and official Ken Heckler with a 51-lap tribute race. Jerry Kosmowski and Trevor Pettit led the field of 27 Street Stocks to the green flag with Pettit taking the top spot early on and holding the lead until Lap 8 when he was overtaken by Max Northem. Northem, who was celebrating his 17th  birthday, led for three laps before giving way to Brian Hoffman, who pulled out to a straightaway-sized lead. He led until the yellow flag waved lap on Lap 26 for a competition caution at the race’s halfway point. That allowed officials to invert the top 11 cars following a random draw to decide how many cars were inverted.

Street Stock winner Mark Hoch

Eric Brown was shown as the leader after the inversion followed by Ken Maltby, Pettit, Jarrod Brown and Mark Hoch. Division points leader Rich Sharpe started 20th and made his way up to second place before the top 11 were inverted; that put him back in 10th place as Sharpe was on a quest for his tenth feature win of the season. It took Sharpe less than 10 laps to make his way back to the runner-up position as he moved into second on Lap 34, when a caution set up a restart with Brown and Sharpe lined up on the front row. Sharpe took over the lead when the race resumed.

Jake Wylie moved his way to the front and took advantage of a restart on Lap 42 to drive by Sharpe and take over the lead. At that point, Sharpe starting going backwards through the field and eventually stopped on the track on Lap 44 with a flat tire. The final seven laps were dominated by Wylie as he was the first car to cross the finish line. The win, however, was awarded to Hoch after Wylie and second-place finisher Brown were disqualified in post-race inspection. The win was Hoch’s first victory of the season. Rich Pocobello was credited with second, with Hoffman in third. Sharpe got a new tire and was able to come home fourth and put a lock on the 2017 Advance Auto Parts Street Stock championship with one race remaining. Trevor Pettit rounded out the top five.

RoC Super Stock winner Tim Gulllo

The Race of Champions Super Stocks made their fourth visit of the season to Lancaster. Tommy Krawczyk and Joe Mancuso battled for the lead in the opening stages of the 30-lap feature before Mancuso developed a problem on Lap 11 and brought out the caution when he stopped on the track. Mancuso was able to drive his way to back to fourth place before a caution on Lap 17 allowed Mancuso to catch up to the lead pack once again. With 10 laps to go Mancuso was once again in second place and looking to challenge Krawczyk for the lead, but on Lap 23 Mancuso and Krawczyk made contact in Turn 4, which spun out Krawczyk and forced Mancuso to the rear of the field. This gave the lead to RoC Super Stock Series points leader Gullo, who was able to cruise for the final seven laps to score his third Super Stock win at Lancaster in 2017. Robert Fink finished second with Ryan Lagoda, Joel Gleason and Jeff Whalen rounding out the top five.

4-Cylinder winner Dan Dressel
Dan Dressel led all 25 laps to win the Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinder feature, but the bigger story was the battle for the division championship. Jason Anasiewicz led Bobby Woch by six points at the start of the night. Both drivers were in the same heat race, and Woch won the race to pick up five bonus points, while Anasiewicz had his right rear wheel fall off during the heat race and was unable to finish. This shrank his lead to one point for the feature. Woch started sixth for the main event while Anasiewicz had to start 14th. It took Woch just 10 laps to move into second place behind his teammate Dressel. Anasiewicz meanwhile methodically worked his way through the field to move into third place with five laps to go. With Woch finishing second and Anasiewicz in third, it unofficially gives Woch a five point lead heading to Season Championship Night.

Lancaster National Speedway closes out the regular season for the X-Press Signs Stock Series on September 9 with Season Championship Night. The track champions will be crowned in all three weekly divisions plus the NYPA TQ Midgets will also be in action. Racing starts at 6:30 p.m. The rain date for Season Championship Night is Sunday, September 10 at 2 p.m. Keep up with the action at www.lancasternationalspeedway.com

Big Rig Night a hit at Lancaster Dragway

It was a “truckin’” good night at Lancaster National Dragway on Friday for Big Rig Night presented by Mallare Enterprises. Over 200 cars and trucks filled the pits for the Franco’s Pizza IHRA Drag Racing program.

Dump Truck winner Dennis Timm
credit: Lancaster National Speedway & Dragway
A total of 56 semi and dump trucks signed in to compete in special Big Right Night classes. Dennis Timm won the Dump Truck class in his 2017 Kenworth, defeating Dave Peckham in the final round. Jim Mallare of Mallare Enterprises won the Semi-Truck category, defeating Sean Lindsley in the final pairing.

Semi winner Jim Mallare
credit: Lancaster National Speedway & Dragway
In Top 8 Eliminator, Brian Hitchcock scored his first win of the season after overcoming the starting line advantage his opponent, Steve Harkiewicz. The remaining classes were forced to split due to curfew. The large car count combined with a cold race track made it impossible to complete the entire program before midnight. Tread City Tire Street was down to the final pair of Eddie Semlitsch and Mark Santucci. Hebeler’s Sales Bikes & Sleds and a special Pick-Up Truck class sponsored by Halleen’s Automotive were down to three competitors each. McGard Mod was down to the semi-finals. Mallare Enterprises Top has five drivers remaining.  

On Friday, September 1 the Buffalo Street Outlaws return to Lancaster as part of a full card of Franco’s Pizza IHRA Drag Racing. Keep up with the action at www.lancasternationalspeedway.com

Hebing takes Patriot Sprint Tour win at Ransomville

Chuck Hebing in victory lane at Ransomville
credit: Alex and Helen Bruce
Chuck Hebing won his first feature of the season on the Patriot Sprint Tour as Moley Magnetics presented the racing action at the Ransomville Speedway on Friday evening. Kevin Wills scored his first win of the season in the Investors Service Sportsman, while Jake Stefanski scored his third straight win and fourth of the season in the KiPo Chevrolet Street Stocks. Chris Leone won his third Gippsters Collision 4 Bangers feature of the season, and Bubby Pawlak scored his first career Stevenson’s Hardware Novice Sportsman feature win.

Jordan Thomas and Hebing brought the A-Verdi Storage Containers Patriot Sprint Tour to the green flag for their 25-lap A-Main with Thomas taking the lead early on. Hebing took the lead away on Lap 3 and caught lap traffic by Lap 8. Hebing pulled away from the field and took the win, with Ryan Susice, Kyle Drum, Jared Zimbardi and Jordan Thomas completing the top five. 

Dustin Gorhan and Anthony Muscato led the field of Sportsman to the green flag for their 25-lap feature with third-place starter Eddie Cain leading the opening circuit. Brett Senek took the lead on a Lap 4 restart and was in control of the field when Wills passed Cain to take second away on Lap 7. Senek and Wills pulled away, with Wills taking the lead on Lap 15. Wills opened up his lead late in the event and went on to score his first win of the season. Senek would hold off Matt Farnham for the runner-up spot, with Dave DiPietro and Greg Martin completing the top five.    

Racing continues on Friday, September 1 as Labatt’s, Salerno’s Snowplowing and Tim Hortons presents the 50-Lap Krown Undercoating Modified Special plus a full card of racing with Ransomville track titles for the Modifieds and Sportsman on the line. The pit gates will open at 5 p.m. with grandstands at 6 p.m. and racing at 7:15 p.m. Keep up with the action at www.ransomvillespeedway.com

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

McGinnis takes Modified feature at Ransomville’s Monday Madness

credit: freedigitalphotos.net/David Castillo Dominici
Jeff McGinnis won the Krown Undercoating Modified feature as Randy’s Smoke Shop and Investors Service presented #MondayMadness at Ransomville Speedway. For McGinnis, it was his first victory of the season. Derek Wagner scored his second Investors Service Sportsman feature of the season, while Jake Stefanski won his third KiPo Chevrolet Street Stock feature of the season. Ryan Plante won his first Gippsters Collision 4 Bangers feature of the season, and Cameron Tuttle scored his fifth Stevenson’s Hardware Novice Sportsman feature of the season.

John Smith and Steve Lewis Jr. brought the field of Modifieds to the green for their feature with Smith leading the way early. McGinnis caught Lewis for second place and took the spot on Lap 5, then took the lead from Smith on Lap 12. McGinnis held off Pete Bicknell to score the win, with Ryan Susice, Erick Rudolph and Tommy Flannigan completing the top five.

Brett Martin and Garrison Krentz led the Sportsman to the green with Krentz in the lead early on. Kevin Wills took the lead on Lap 14 and held on to cross the finish line first, but was light at the scales. Second-place finisher Krentz was also light at the scales, giving the win to third-place finisher Derek Wagner. 

Pat O’Keefe and Brandon Sherwood were on the front row for the Street Stocks 20-lap feature with Sherwood, the former track champion, taking the initial lead, but Jaren Israel took the lead at the end of Lap 1. Stefanski took the lead away from Israel at the line on Lap 4, and the pair swapped the lead for several circuits. Stefanski cleared Israel for the lead on Lap 8 as Billy Bleich Jr. battled with Israel for second. Bleich eventually grabbed second, then battled Stefanski for the lead, going on to take it on Lap 13. Bleich crossed the line first, but was disqualified in post-race tech, giving the win to Stefanski.

Friday racing will continue at Ransomville on Friday, August 25 as Moley Magnetics presents the second visit of the season by the Patriot Sprint Tour, which will be joined by the Sportsman, Street Stocks, 4 Bangers and Novice Sportsman. The pit gates will open at 5 p.m. with grandstands open at 6 p.m. and racing at 7:15 p.m. Find out more at www.ransomvillespeedway.com

Rouse picks up sixth Sportsman win at Humberstone

Brad Rouse in victory lane
credit: Softouch Photo
Brad Rouse won his sixth main event on the season for the PC Works DIRTcar Sportsman on Port Colborne Home Hardware Night at Humberstone Speedway on Sunday evening. Paul Klager won the feature event for the visiting Mod Lites, while Chad Homan won his sixth Maple Leaf Foods RUSH Late Models. Dave Bailey won his fifth JC Auto Street Stocks feature of the season, Leroy Buscumb scored his third win of the season for the Cosco Haulage Mini Stocks, and Kyle Tomaski won his fourth Mike Knapp Ford Pro 4 Trucks feature of the season.

Chad Chevalier and Rouse were on the front row for the main event for the Sportsman with Chevalier leading the way early. Rouse reeled in Chevalier and took the lead just prior to the halfway mark. Cody McPherson would bring out the race’s first caution on Lap 20, and on the restart, Rouse continued to lead with Adam Leslie and Chevalier battling for second. The caution came back out as Tom Richau Jr. and Jordan Cosco got together exiting Turn 4, with Richau needing a tow back to the pits. Rouse pulled away from Chevalier on the restart and scored the win.

Jeffrey May and Klager brought the Mod Lites to the green flag for their main event with Klager quickly taking the lead and going on to score the win, his second at Humberstone in 2017.
Buscumb and Rob Sauder brought the field of Mini Stocks to the green flag for their 15-lap feature event with Buscumb taking the early race lead and holding off Brandon Iudiciani to score the win, his third of the season.

Richard Hare and Max Chichuck battled for the lead in the early stages of the Cooper Motorsports Minivans of Mayhem event. Neil Martins raced in third with second generation racer Tina Ronning making her second appearance of the season raced in fourth place. Chichuck looked underneath Hare and completed the pass for the lead late in the race, going on to score the win. Hare finished second followed by Martens and Ronning.

Next weekend is Pete Cosco Memorial Weekend, Saturday and Sunday, August 26-27. Saturday will feature the Race of Champions Dirt Modified Series and the Race of Champions Sportsman Series plus the Mini Stocks in a non-point event; gates will open at 5 p.m. in the pits and 5:30 p.m. in the grandstands, with race time scheduled for 6:30 p.m. On Sunday, Cosco Haulage presents the third annual Pete Cosco Memorial for Modifieds. Big Block Modifieds will be allowed to run against the Niagara Region’s best 358 Modified drivers. A full Humberstone show is also on the card with gates opening at 4:30 p.m. in the pits and 5 p.m. in the grandstands, with racing scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Keep up with the action at www.humberstonespeedway.com

George Skora III wins Tommy/Tony RoC Modified race at Lancaster Speedway

George Skora III
George Skora III won the 28th annual Tommy Druar/Tony Jankowiak Memorial 110 – his first career victory in the Race of Champions Modified Series – Saturday night at Lancaster National Speedway.
Mother Nature tried to put a damper on the evening as, for the second week in a row, a heavy rain storm soaked the speedway just minutes before the show started. Once the rain ended it took about two hours for the track crew to get things dry enough to race.

21 Race of Champions Modifieds took the green flag for Lancaster’s most prestigious race of the year. L2 Autosport teammates Patrick Emerling and Mike Leaty lined up on the front row after starting positions were set through time trials, with the fastest four cars in each qualifying group advancing to the redraw for the top 12 starting spots. Heat race were eliminated for all divisions to save time after the rain delay.

Emerling, the two-time and defending race winner, jumped out to the lead when the green flag waved, looking for his second win of the week after capturing his first NASCAR Modified Tour win on Wednesday night at Bristol Motor Speedway.  

Bobby Holmes, a three-time Sportsman track champion, started seventh in the Hoddick Racing #7NY and quickly worked his to the front as moved from seventh to second by Lap 20. Holmes then hounded Emerling for the lead, eventually taking the lead away from Emerling on Lap 33. After a few caution flags, a Lap 71 restart saw Andy Jankowiak collide with Emerling, sending Emerling head first into the Thermal Foam blocks on the frontstretch. Jankowiak suffered damage to his right side nerf bars and had to pit. Holmes was sent to the rear of the field for not maintaining proper speed on the restart. Leaty also had to fall to the rear as he spun out in the fracas.

Skora, who started 12th and spent the early part of the race outside the top ten, inherited the lead after pit stops. Skora quickly built up an advantage of over a second in the remaining 20 laps, running his fastest laps of the night with less than 10 laps to go. Skora cruised to the victory for his the first Modified win of his career. The second-generation driver initially made his name in Late Model racing, but he has earned his stripes since a shift to open-wheeled cars a few years ago.

“We finally got that monkey off our back, what an unbelievable night,” said Skora. “It wasn’t Bristol, but Lancaster is pretty special to me. It just played out great, Pat (Emerling) and Mike (Leaty) might have had the fastest cars, but you have to race the race. We had two jinxes earlier in the year; my luck had to change sooner or later for me.”

Rich Sharpe
In other X-Press Signs Stock Car Series action, Rich Sharpe added his ninth win of the season in Advance Auto Parts Street Stocks. The start of the race was delayed by about 30 minutes to finish up drying the track following the 4-Cylinder feature.

Tom Northem grabbed the early lead from the pole position. Northem and Keith Flanigan got together coming off Turn 4 on Lap 3, and both cars had to slow down to avoid crashing. That handed the lead to Garrett Cleversley who led for several laps before being passed on Lap 10 by Tim Welshans. Welshans led until Lap 15 when he was passed by Mark Hoch. Hoch’s stay at the front of the field was also short-lived as he lost the lead to Jake Wylie two laps later.

Sharpe slowly worked his way through field, and was running sixth when Wylie took the lead. He then began his march to the front, taking third place on Lap 19 and moving into second place with four laps to go. Sharpe quickly caught Wylie and passed him on the outside in Turn 1 with less than two laps to go.

Dave Milbrand Jr.
Dave Milbrand Jr. was credited with the Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinder feature victory after Joe Brunka, who led all 25 laps from the pole position, was disqualified in post-race inspection.
The NYPA TQ Midgets were scheduled to compete, but chose not to race after they were asked to run a feature only program.

Lancaster National Speedway is back in action this Saturday with Big Rig Night presented by Hunter Truck Sales and Peterbilt of Buffalo. The Sunoco Sportsman will be back in action plus the Advance Auto Parts Street Stocks will run the rescheduled Ken Heckler 51 Tribute race. The Race of Champions Super Stocks and Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinders will also be on the race card. Keep up with the action at www.lancasternationalspeedway.com.

Quotes in this piece provided by Lancaster National Speedway & Dragway.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Mallare takes Top 8 win at Lancaster Dragway

Michael Mallare celebrates his Top 8 win - credit:
Neffke Motorsports Photography
Lancaster National Dragway got their first Franco’s Pizza Friday Night IHRA Drag Racing event of August in the books on Friday night following two-straight weeks of rain outs. The good weather came at the right time as Lancaster played host to the Hanna Motorsports Jet Funny Cars after their traditional Memorial Day weekend date was rained out. Both the First Strike and Top Secret Eastern Raider jet cars wowed the fans with passes of less than four seconds and speeds that topped over 200 mph.

In Franco’s Pizza IHRA Drag Racing action, Michael Mallare captured his first Top 8 win of the season, while Dan Szewczyk took the win in Mallare Enterprises Top ET. In McGard Mod, Keith Banas scored his first win of 2017, while both Hebeler’s Sales Bikes & Sleds and Tread City Tire Street had repeat winners as Vic Pgulia (Bikes & Sleds) and John Wachowicz (Street) won for the second event in a row.

Mallare entered Friday night with a 0-4 record in final rounds this season in Top 8 Eliminator. His luck finally changed as he was able to beat Joe Masullo for his first win of the season. In the Mallare Enterprises Top ET final, Shawn Beatty was set to face Szewczyk in the final pairing, but Szewczyk was unable to make the call to the starting line due to mechanical problems. Beatty, however, graciously allowed Szewczyk to make repairs to his car so they could race instead of taking the bye run and the automatic win. Szewczyk was ready to go 30 minutes later and drove past Beatty at top end to score the victory aboard his Head Knocker 1941 Willys.

Banas scored his first win of the year in McGard Mod over Rich Hodge. Banas had to only make up a tenth second head start on the starting tree to edge Hodge at top end.

Puglia backed up his first career Bikes & Sleds win on July 28 with his second of the season, defeating Drew Nearhoof in the final round to score the victory. Wachowicz returned to Tread City Tire Street victory lane in his Lincoln Mark VI with a win over Eddie Semlitsch in the finals.

The Junior Dragster 7.90 Index class made its second Friday night appearance of the season and the final round was a rematch of the first race, with Alexandra Young picking up the win over her sister, Victoria.

Lancaster National Dragway is back in action this Friday night with the popular Big Rig Night presented Hunter Truck Sales/Peterbilt of Buffalo and Mallare Enterprises. There will be a special Big Rig/Dump Truck class and a Pickup Truck class sponsored by Halleen’s Automotive. CDL license holders will receive discounted admission. Find out more at www.lancasternationalspeedway.com

Flannigan takes Modified win at Ransomville

Tommy Flannigan celebrates in victory lane with family
 and friends - credit: Alex and Helen Bruce
Tommy Flannigan won the main event for the Krown Undercoating Modifieds on Crop Production Services, Snyder Industries, Barker Lion’s Club and Firth’s Jewelers night at Ransomville Speedway on Friday evening. Greg Martin won his first Investors Service Sportsman feature of the season, while Jake Stefanski scored his second win of the season for the KiPo Chevrolet Street Stocks. Ashley Blech scored her first win of the season in the Gippsters Collision 4 Bangers and Kyle Wendt scored his third win of the season in the Stevenson’s Hardware Novice Sportsman. 

John Smith and Flannigan brought the Modifieds to the green flag for their 30-lap main event with Flannigan leading early and taking a four-second lead over the field by Lap 12. Flannigan led every lap to score his first win of the season.

Joey Zimmerman and Mike Kramarz led the Street Stocks to the green flag for their 20-lap feature with Kramarz jumping into the early race lead, but Stefanski took the lead away from Kramarz on Lap 11. Kramarz would reel in Stefanski in the late going, but Stefanski held on for his second win of the season.

Orval Harris and Bubby Pawlak brought the Novice Sportsman to the green flag with Pawlak taking the lead early. Orval spun in Turn 2 to bring out the first caution, and Kyle Wendt took the lead on the restart and built a lead of over two seconds. Wendt slowed on the front stretch to bring out the caution with five laps remaining, giving Robbie Johnston the lead on the restart, but Wendt would drive his way back through the field and would go on to score the win, his third of the season.

Friday racing will continue at Ransomville on Friday, August 25 as Moley Magnetics presents the second visit of the season by the Patriot Sprint Tour, which will be joined by the Sportsman, Street Stocks, 4 Bangers and Novice Sportsman. The pit gates will open at 5 p.m., with grandstands at 6 p.m. and racing at 7:15 p.m. Find out more at www.ransomvillespeedway.com.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Westbrook takes S.O.S. A-Main at Humberstone Sunday

credit: freedigitalphotos.net/David Castillo Dominici
Dylan Westbrook won the A-Main for the Southern Ontario Sprints at Humberstone Speedway on Sunday evening. Cody McPherson won his second PC Works DIRTcar Sportsman feature of the season, while Paul Grigsby won his first main event of the season for the Maple Leaf Foods RUSH Late Models. Dave Bailey won his fourth JC Auto Street Stocks feature of the season, Olivier Larocque scored his second win of the season in the Cosco Haulage Mini Stocks, and Danny Wurster picked up his second win of the season for the Mike Knapp Ford Pro 4 Trucks.

Westbrook and Chris Jones brought the field of Southern Ontario Sprints to the green flag for their 25-lap A-Main, with Westbrook taking the lead. Cory Turner caught Westbrook in heavy lap traffic with seven laps remaining, but Westbrook pulled away to win his fifth straight A-Main, his eighth S.O.S. feature victory of the season. Cory Turner and Ryan Turner completed the top three.   

Westbrook broke the previous 360 Sprint Car track record of 13.507 seconds, set in 2009 by Bobby Breen, with his hot lap time of 13.434 seconds.

Darrell Farraway and McPherson led the PC Works DIRTcar Sportsman to the green flag for their 25-lap feature event with McPherson jumping into the lead quickly and never looking back, going on to score his second win of the season.

Grigsby and Tim Gillespie shared the front row for the feature for the Maple Leaf Foods RUSH Late Models, with Grigsby taking the lead early. Jeff Dayman took the lead from Grigsby on Lap 9, but Grigsby returned to the lead on Lap 11. Chad Homan caught Grigsby with two laps remaining but Grigsby held on for the win, his first at Humberstone since September 2015.

Racing will return to Humberstone on Sunday, August 20 as Port Colborne Home Hardware presents a full card of racing plus the second appearance of the season by the Mod Lites and Round 4 of the Cooper Motorsports Minivans of Mayhem. Gates open at 4:30 p.m. in the pits and 5 p.m. in the grandstands, with race time scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Keep up with the action at www.humberstonespeedway.com

Rain gets the best of Western New York racing Friday and Saturday

credit: freedigitalphotos.net/Suriya Kankliang
  • For the seventh time in 2017, management of Ransomville Speedway called off the Friday night, August 11 show due to rain and the threat for more thunderstorms throughout the evening. Drivers and crews are asked to keep their wristbands to use for admission for next week and fans are asked to keep their ticket stub to be used for next week. The autograph session scheduled for Friday, August 11 will now take place on Friday, August 18. Pit gates that night will open at 5 p.m. with grandstands opening at 6 p.m. and racing beginning at 7:15 p.m. Find out more at www.ransomvillespeedway.com.
  • Bob Bogner won the main event for the Advance Auto Parts Hornets on Saturday night at Holland International Speedway before the rains came and ended the night. Josh Marchese won in the INEX Legends and Ryan Bille won the first main event for the INEX Bandoleros. With the Getzoni Agency NASCAR Pro Modifieds, Bank of Holland Chargers and the NYPA TQ Midget Jerry Gradl Sr. Memorial Mini Indy 50 not being held, rain checks will be honored for the next event, scheduled for Saturday, August 26. Drivers and pit crews must keep their wristbands to be used for admission. The Saturday, August 26 show will see the NYPA TQ Midgets run the Mini Indy 50 plus a full NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program. Qualifying will start at 6 p.m. with NASCAR feature racing beginning at 7:05 p.m. Find out more at www.hollandspeedway.com.
  • Lancaster National Speedway could only get two heat races in before thunderstorms rolled in and rained out the remainder of the X-Press Signs Stock Series program on Saturday night. The Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinders ran their two heat races, with Bobby Woch and Dan Dressel earning wins in their respective heats. An attempt was made to dry the track, but the amount of moisture combined with high humidity and the threat of more rain forced track officials to postpone the show. The Ken Heckler Tribute 51 Street Stock race as well as the Kids Night festivities will now take place on Saturday, August 26 as part of Big Rig Night. Rain checks from the event will be honored on August 26 or on September 9 for Season Championship Night. They will not be good for the Saturday, August 19, which is the 28th annual Tommy Druar/Tony Jankowiak Memorial 110 Race of Champions Modified Series event. The Advance Auto Parts Street Stocks, Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinders and NYPA TQ Midgets will also be in action. Find out more at www.lancasternationalspeedway.com


Monday, August 7, 2017

Increased purse, format announced for Heckler 51 at Lancaster this Saturday

Ken Heckler in the No. 51 Street Stock
credit: Lancaster National Speedway & Dragway
Lancaster National Speedway will honor the memory of a recently departed member of its racing family this Saturday with the Ken "Hurricane" Heckler 51 Tribute Race for the Advance Auto Parts Street Stocks. Heckler, who passed away suddenly in March, raced for many years at Lancaster in the Street Stocks, Super Stocks, Sportsman and Cup Lites before transitioning into the role of Pit Steward after his driving career ended. The Ken Heckler Tribute Race will be 51 laps in honor of the car number Heckler used during his days in the Street Stock division.

This special event will feature an increased purse, a special race format and around $1,800 in lap money up for grabs. 

As a reward to the drivers in the Advance Auto Parts Street Stocks for helping grow the division over the last three seasons and for their exciting side-by-side racing action, Lancaster National Speedway will pay out the same purse that the division gets for the season-ending U.S. Open. The race will pay $500 to the winner and it will be a minimum of $75 to start the feature. 

"The Advance Auto Part Street Stocks have had some of the largest car counts and put on some great shows this year," said Tim Packman, Track President. "Ken Heckler cast a big shadow on this track, and not just because of his height. He left his mark as a driver, official and friend through four decades. So, if we're going to honor a big man like Hurricane, we're going to do it in a big way for his race."

In addition to the increased purse, there will also be close to $1,800 lap money thanks to the efforts of Heckler's wife, Debbie, and the racing community. Debbie Heckler collected a minimum of $25 per lap for all 51 laps. All drivers in the feature field will be eligible for the lap money, with a random draw deciding which position receives the payout for each lap. Long time LNS supporter Howie Markel has also added a $10 lap leader bonus for all 51 laps. 

To make things interesting there will be a competition caution on Lap 26 to invert part of the field before the start of the second half of the race. A random draw place will take place to determine the amount of cars that will be inverted. If there are 25 or 26 cars in the race, then the maximum possible number of cars to invert will be 13. The maximum number for the inversion will be 12 for a 23-24 car field, 11 with 21-22 cars, and so on. The number of cars to be inverted will be not be revealed until the competition caution. 

The Sunoco Sportsman and Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinders will also be in action on Saturday night. The championship race in both divisions is heating up with just a few weeks left in the regular season. There will also be lap money available for both the Sportsman and 4-Cylinders this Saturday thanks to Debbie Heckler. 

This Saturday is also Kids Night at Lancaster National Speedway. There will be a Power Wheels race during intermission for any child that brings their own power car from home plus a kids bicycle giveaway. Admission for kids 11 and under will be free on Saturday, which is the case for all Speedway and Dragway events. 

Ken “Hurricane” Heckler Tribute 51 Lap Street Stock Purse
  • 1st $500   
  • 2nd $350
  • 3rd $300
  • 4th $275
  • 5th $250
  • 6th $225
  • 7th $200
  • 8th $175
  • 9th $150    
  • 10th $125
  • 11th to 15th $100
  • 16th through end of field $75
Find out more at www.lancasternationalspeedway.com.

Quotes in this piece provided by Lancaster National Speedway & Dragway.

Chevalier takes Sportsman win at All Canadian Championships at Humberstone

credit: freedigitalphotos.net/David Castillo Dominici
Chad Chevalier won the 50-lap feature for the PC Works DIRTcar Sportsman as part of the annual All Canadian Championships presented by Gilletta Flooring Services and Cosco Haulage at Humberstone Speedway on Sunday evening. Dave Bailey won the 50-lap Duel on the Dirt for the JC Auto Street Stocks, his third win of the season.  Chad Homan won his fifth Maple Leaf Foods RUSH Late Models feature of the season, Mark Bazuin won in Cosco Haulage Mini Stocks and Craig Vlasic won the feature for the Mike Knapp Ford Pro 4 Trucks. Nathan Berry, Rick St. Pierre and Jeff Larmet won the main events for the Vintage Cars.

Rob Goulding and Adam Leslie led the DIRTcar Sportsman to the green flag, with Leslie showing the way. Chevalier would take second away from Jay Mallory on Lap 12 and went after Leslie, taking the lead away on a restart following a Lap 17 caution. Chevalier pulled away from the field to score the win, his third of the season. Matt Farnham, Cody McPherson, Justin Sharp and Darrell Farraway completed the top five.

Ken Sargent and Trevor DeBoer brought the field of JC Auto Street Stocks to the green flag for their Duel on the Dirt Combined Race with Sargent showing the way. Bailey took the lead on Lap 17 and held on until 18 to go, when Jason Fontaine took the lead for one lap; Bailey regained the lead just one lap later. Fontaine caught Bailey again with 10 to go but Bailey held him off, scoring his second straight All Canadian Championship win .

Racing will return to Humberstone on Sunday, August 13 as Zanchin Truck and Trailer presents the Southern Ontario Sprints plus a full card of racing and another round of the Performance ATV Side-By-Side Races. Gates open at 4:30 p.m. in the pits and 5 p.m. in the grandstands, with racing schedule to start at 6:30 p.m. Keep up with the action at www.humberstonespeedway.com

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Summer Nationals return to Ransomville August 8

The 4-wide salute from the 2016 Summer Nationals
credit: Alex and Helen Bruce
One of the most prestigious events in the Northeast, the 33rd running of the Summer Nationals for the Big Block Modified Super DIRTcar Series at Ransomville Speedway will take place on Tuesday, August 8 presented by Coors Light, Parco Buildings, and Wendt’s Propane and Gas.

Billy Decker leads Larry Wight by just two points coming into upcoming events at Merrittville and Ransomville. Decker, 2014 winner of the Summer Nationals has three wins in the series this season while Wight has earned one victory on the tour. Three previous winners of the Summer Nationals – Brett Hearn (1990, 2005), Pat Ward (2007), and Stewart Friesen (2006, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016) – round out the top five in Super DIRTcar Series points entering the Monday-Tuesday Niagara region doubleheader.

Several DIRTcar Hall of Famers and future Hall of Famers have graced victory lane in the Summer Nationals. Bob McCreadie has won the event on six occasions, as have both Alan Johnson and Danny Johnson. Friesen will be trying to win his sixth Summer Nationals.

The $6,000-to-win event for the Big Block Modified Super DIRTcar Series will also feature the Investors Service Sportsman and the KiPo Chevrolet Street Stocks. Gates open at 4:30 p.m. with hot laps at 6:30 p.m. Time Trials for the Big Blocks will take place at 7 p.m., with qualifying heats taking the green flag at 7:15 p.m. Before the races, enjoy the famous Ransomville Volunteer Fire Company Chicken BBQ for just $10, with all proceeds benefiting the Ransomville Volunteer Fire Company.

The stars of the Super DIRTcar Series – including Matt Shepard, Larry Wight, Brett Hearn, Billy Decker, Tim Fuller, Peter Britten, Jimmy Phelps and Max McLaughlin – will be joined by defending Ransomville track champion Ryan Susice, past race winner Erick Rudolph and veteran Pete Bicknell, plus all the Big R regulars, as they try to defend home turf against the best DIRTcar Modified racers in the Northeast. Find out more at www.ransomvillespeedway.com

All Canadian Championships at Humberstone Speedway on August 6

credit: freedigitalphotos.net/David Castillo Dominici
This Sunday, August 6, is the annual All Canadian Championships at Humberstone Speedway. The Civic Holiday Weekend tradition is a fan favorite and the 2017 edition is a show that is not to be missed. The 2017 All Canadian Championships and Salute to the Troops, in conjunction with the Wounded Warriors of Canada, is sponsored by Gilletta Flooring Services and Cosco Haulage.

Pit gates will open at 9 a.m. Sunday morning for hauler parking. The pits will be cleared at 2 p.m. and will officially re-open at 3 p.m.; grandstand gates will also open at 3 p.m. The draw will open at 4 p.m. for those drivers who did not take part in Time Trials earlier in the season. At 5 p.m., a special Salute to the Troops pre-race show will take place featuring a firing of two Howitzer Cannons and parachute jumpers jumping out of a DC3 War Plane; vehicles and equipment from World War 1 and World War 2 will on display. Any member of the Armed Forces who is in uniform and or shows Military ID will be admitted FREE on Sunday night.

The racing program will begin at 6 p.m. with the Leslie Motorsports Junior Race Fan of the Week and Time Trials for the Vintage Cars. The PC Works DIRTcar Sportsman will be featured in a 50-lap All Canadian Championships Special and the JC Auto Street Stocks will also be running a 50-lap feature as part of the Duel on the Dirt Series. The Maple Leaf Foods RUSH Late Models, Cosco Haulage Mini Stocks, and the Mike Knapp Ford Pro 4 Trucks will also be in action. The Vintage Car program will feature the PA Vintage Racers, racing for a third straight night on Sunday at the All Canadian with over 40 Vintage Cars expected from throughout Ontario, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and more.

The party will keep on going after the races have ended out in the camping area as Guilty Pleasures will take the stage after the races. Camping is free for the All Canadian Championships with a paid adult admission to the races. Find out more at www.humberstonespeedway.com

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Westbrook takes Crate Sprint Car win at Humberstone

Dylan Westbrook (center) celebrates his Crate Sprint Car
win at Humberstone
credit: Softouch Photo
Dylan Westbrook won the main event in the second appearance this season by the Crate Sprint Cars on The Reeb House Night at Humberstone Speedway on Sunday evening. Brad Rouse won his fifth PC Works DIRTcar Sportsman feature of the season, while Chad Homan won his fourth Maple Leaf Foods RUSH Late Models victory of the season. Billy Bleich Jr. scored his first feature of the season for the JC Auto Street Stocks, Leroy Buscumb won his second feature of the season in the Cosco Haulage Mini Stocks, and Craig Vlasic won his first Mike Knapp Ford Pro 4 Trucks feature of the season.

Jerry Hill led early on in the 20-lap A-Main for the Crate Sprints before Westbrook took the lead on Lap 6 off a restart. Westbrook drove away from the field to score the win, his second of the season at Humberstone.

Chad Chevalier led the Sportsman feature early on, while Rouse worked his way through the field and gained second place on Lap 13. Rouse closed in on Chevalier and took the lead away with five laps remaining.

Adam Leslie set the fastest time in Time Trials for the All Canadian Championships for the Sportsman. Leslie will be on the pole for heat race No. 1 next week. 

Next Sunday, August 6, is the longest-running event in Southern Ontario, the All Canadian Championships. The Street Stocks will race in their first combined series race as part of the Duel on the Dirt; they will be joined by the Vintage Cars and a full Humberstone racing card. The All Canadian Championships will also feature a post-race party in the camping area plus a Tribute to the Troops. Times are still being finalized and will be released on the track’s social media pages in the coming days. Race time is scheduled for 6 p.m. Find out more at www.humberstonespeedway.com